அசோகா அல்வா /Asoka Halwa.

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Places  developing  near rivers are fertile and also rich in culture and arts. In that way Thanjavur situated in the Cauvery Delta area is rich in arts, culture. The world famous Brihadeeswara Temple , Navagraha Temples, great musicians , dancers  belong to this region . And Thanjavur people are known for their  appreciation of  arts and of course food too. Various cuisines  have developed here and   the Vegetarian cooking is famous . Among many Dishes The Asoka Halwa is famous and it belongs to the nearby place Thiruvaiyaaru. In my childhood i  have tasted this in my Grandmother’s house many times  . The Asoka Halwa has a slightly coarse texture and  does not makes us sick with too much sweetness . Easy to make , it is an icon of Thanjavur.  Being a Tanjoreian  i w anted to make this for many days . Recently one of our neighbour in Salem prepared this and it was so delicious . In the pending lists Asoka Halwa was there and somehow i got the opportunity to make it today . The dal used can be cooked in pressure cooker too, i used the open pan method as i wanted the coarse texture .

Ingredients:

Moong Dal -1 cup

Wheat Flour -1 cup

Sugar – 2 ½ cup

Ghee – ½ cup to  1 cup

Cardamom Powder – 2 tsp

Cashew – 10

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1.     Roast Moong dal  in a dry pan till it turns red . Avoid  blackening and high flame. Cook this  with water . It is good if we can add milk and water and cook Moong dal.

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2.     Fry wheat Flour in ghee till it changes colour.

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3.     The moong dal takes time to cook . When the moong dal is cooked well ,there should be some water in it , add sugar and stir well.

4.      Add the flour slowly and mix well. Pour ghee in the sides .

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5.     i heated the ghee and poured just like we do in Mysore pak .Add desired colour.

6.      Keep on stirring  so that there will be no lumps . At one stage the Halwa will leave the sides . If you find difficult to stir sprinkle milk and stir . Check for sweetness.

7.     When the Halwa leaves the sides switch off the  flame and serve  .

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8.     Cashews roasted in ghee and cardamom powder can be added . If you prefer  Ghee dripping Asoka add  ghee liberally .

     And  finally i have made Asoka Halwa!!!!

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